Blatter wants watches back from Fifa and Swiss probe closed
Sepp Blatter, the disgraced former president of Fifa, has commenced legal proceedings against soccer’s international governing body, in part to recover watches he claims to be his.
The 83-year-old Swiss also accused the federation of “moral damage,” adding that there had been “no respect” from his successor and countryman Gianni Infantino.
Blatter’s 17-year reign as head of world soccer ended in 2015, as he was banned from the sport over a “disloyal” payment of SFr2 million ($2.03 million) made to then Uefa president Michel Platini who was also banned.
Both men continue to deny any wrongdoing, and Blatter turned on Fifa in an interview with the BBC over around 60 watches he insists it is holding, saying: “These are my watches, give me my watches. It's important for me. I worked in the watch industry and I made my collection. Forty-one years they were [at Fifa], I could have taken them home, a long time ago.
"Why are they fighting for these watches? There is no respect, there is no respect by the president [Infantino]."
Blatter, who is serving a six-year ban from soccer, is still under investigation in a corruption probe begun by the Swiss authorities in 2015 but no charges have been brought and he claims it should be closed, saying: "It's four years, and nothing has happened, this case should be settled, because it's a non-case.
"There cannot be a charge, otherwise they would have done it a long time (ago), but I'm not so sure that this will come out now. I want to defend my rights, while I'm alive. I've not lost my fighting spirit."
In a response to the BBC, Fifa said: “Mr Blatter is of course entitled to his opinions but, at the same time, it's probably worthwhile remembering that these opinions and allegations come from a person who was banned from football for six years for engaging in unethical behaviour.
"In the meantime, we also understand that the Swiss authorities continue to investigate him for possible criminal misconduct and the new Fifa hopes these investigations come to a conclusion soon. Mr Blatter's views and opinions should be seen in that context, and against the background of his own conduct in office over a period of decades."